Friday’s live fight: Mike Rio vs. Andy Ogle
"The Ultimate Fighter LIVE" Episode 9 is set to air Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern on FX, and HeavyMMA.com has you covered.
Tune in for a live running recap of the episode and live coverage of the last of the eight first-round bouts in the tournament of 16 fighters coached by UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and top contender Urijah Faber. Team Faber, after dropping its first two fights of the season, won three straight. Team Cruz evened things back up. But last week, Faber's eighth and final pick, Chris Saunders, upset Cruz's No. 2 pick, Sam Sicilia, to give Faber a 4-3 lead. The last two fighters left are Team Faber's seventh pick, Andy Ogle, and Cruz's No. 4 pick, Mike Rio. They meet in Friday night's live fight.
Episode begins with Mike Rio walking through the Ultimate Fighter facility, while Ogle paces in his locker room. Then Rio's knee injury is brought to the forefront, but he says he is not going to let it stop him. Meanwhile, Ogle, clearly emotional, displays through his tears more than his words how much he wants to win.
Dana White then walks the viewers through last week's contest, which was a battle. Cruz and Faber were also impressed, though Faber explains he was definitely worried about the power of his fighter's opponent. Nevertheless, Sicilia dropped the close decision to Saunders, and Rio and Ogle stand opposite one another right after, providing those in attendance with a humorous staredown.
Cruz says that Rio has great fundamentals and just wants him to give it his all for two (or three) rounds.
Back from break, Team Faber is shown in the locker room celebrating Saunders win. The winner is as thrilled as his teammate with the upset victory, and Faber says he loves the positive vibes his team is giving off.
Ogle addresses the contest, utilizing his sense of humor. He says that the fight features Cruz's most attractive fighter against Faber's, saying it is going to be a sexy contest. On a different note, Sicilia is shown in his team's designated locker room, clearly upset. Still, he says he would rather lose that bout than have to work in an office. Sicilia really seems to find himself lucky to be a mixed martial artist.
Rio then discusses the upcoming bout, though he does not predict a fight as sexy as Ogle's idea of how the contest will pan out.
Next, it's the always entertaining coaches' challenge. They've put on some good ones in the past, and this one was no different.
White introduces several soldiers in the Marine Corp and one of the brave Marines introduces the contest. And it's not bowling, or volleyball. Instead, Faber and Cruz will compete in an obstacle course, except this obstacle course involves not only barriers, but firearms. And it's not your Daddy's .38 Special they'll be shooting. White then explains the prize money, which is always a good incentive. Faber seems set on walking out of the course with $20,000 waiting for him.
White gets the contest started, and the coaches are off. They each climb up a rope, and Cruz rings the bell first. Next, Cruz fires a handgun and hits the five targets with ease. Faber, meanwhile, is struggling. Cruz heads to the next phase, flipping a large tractor tire, though Faber is right behind him. Cruz is still first to the next phase, ready to fire the automatic rifle. He hits the target immediately, causing it to explode. Faber does the same moments later. Onto the dummy carry, Cruz maintains the lead and moves to the fully-automatic SAW. Cruz hits the first target easily, but has a lot of trouble with the second. He finally does, but Faber is in the lead now. Next they begin carrying ammunition from one pile across a to a different site. Faber finishes that first and moves on to the grenade launcher.
Yes, a grenade launcher.
He hits the target, triggering another large explosion, while Cruz hits his target shortly after. It's neck-and-neck to see who can hit the final target. Faber triggers the final explosion and his team's excitement mirrors the bang of the grenade. Cruz is noticeably angry with the loss. Some coaches in the past have been competitive, but these guys absolutely hate losing to one another in any competition whatsoever.
Team Faber celebrates a nice payday, while Team Cruz walks away in disappointment. Faber is sure to make the loss sting a bit more for Cruz, asking the champion if he'd care to walk the money out to the car.
Back at the gym, Ogle gets to work in preparation for the fight, which, by the way, takes place live tonight. He hops in the cage, and Faber stays against the fence, shouting advice. Ogle battles against Chad Mendes, trying to avoid the takedown. He seems to be doing well, considering who he is up against.
Ogle says that his gameplan is to make Rio afraid to look for the takedown. If he can do that, Ogle could very well pull the huge upset. Still, that's a big if.
Rio then enters the gym beside Cruz, as the rest of the team follows behind the pair. Rio gives a brief background of his life in Miami, including his amateur wrestling career. Cruz then addresses Rio's knee issues, stating that he thinks the injury shouldn't affect anything and that Rio is "good to go."
In the cage, Rio works in the clinch, dragging his sparring partner to the mat time and time again. His ground game is clearly on a different level than the majority of the house. Still, the wrestler has a message for Ogle, urging him to put on the "Fight of the Night." After the past few contests this season, they certainly have a lot to live up to.
Back in the gym, White sits down with Faber and Cruz, looking forward to the quarterfinal match ups. Cruz makes a statement about how it is a game, and Faber quickly comments on the statement, saying "Captain Obvious" decided to come to "The Ultimate Fighter" gym for the deliberation process.
White then leaves after getting feedback and input from the coaches, and the quarterfinals begin to take shape as Rio and Ogle hit the scales for the last first round fight.
Rio and Ogle both make weight for the lightweight contest, and members of each team give opinion on the contest. Rio stresses that he is an animal in the cage, while Ogle says he has "been itching to fight." He says he wants fighting to be his life, his everything. He says it's going to be a beautiful evening when he and Rio clash.
And that night is tonight, as each fighter takes last minute advice from their coaches in their respective locker rooms.
Back again from break, Mr. Jon Anik does what he does so well, introducing the rules of the cage and the fighters. Rio is the first to head to the cage. Ogles follows seconds behind, bursting through the doors and strutting to the cage in silence, as his team waves a British flag behind him. Ogle steps into the cage, takes a deep breath, and Anik gives us the "Tale of the Tape."
Mike Rio vs. Andy Ogle
Round 1: Touch of gloves begins this contest. Fighters trade left hands, Ogle eating a jab, and Rio eating a straight punch. Ogle circles on the outside, and Rio brushes his hair back in the center of the Octagon. Rio comes up short with a left, but he continues to stalk. Ogle with a long left that misses. He either trips or fakes a superman punch, but recovers. The Brit lunges forward, not landing anything significant until a long left hook finds a home. He lands another left, and Rio is looking to turn it up. Nice jab from the favorite. He doesn't appear to be looking takedown, but he has to be thinking it, as Ogle lands a left. Rio immediately shoots, lifts his opponent up, and slams him to the mat. Ogle attempts to wall-walk right away, while working short punches to the head of his opponent. He is back up, but Rio still has him tied up in the clinch. Two minutes remaining in the round, which has swayed in favor of Rio. Ogle separates and is back to striking. He lunges forward again, landing a long left. He comes up short on a superman punch, however. Continuing to lung with his strikes, Ogle walks straight into a jab, but brushes it off. One minute to go. Nice overhand strike from Ogle, who is landing the better shots on the feet. He fakes low with a punch to the leg and goes back up top with a blow to the head. Cruz tells Rio he needs a takedown. Nice frontkick from Rio. He shoots in, but Ogle defends nicely, stuffing it and throwing strikes. Rio presses on and eventually earns it. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Rio.
Round 2: The second frame is underway, and the pair waste little time getting busy on the feet. Ogle throws a combination, but Rio lands a nice right hand. He presses forward, throwing plenty of shots, some of which land. They clinch against the cage, and Ogle turns Rio around before separating. Wise move. Body kick from Ogle, who then misses with another superman punch. He then comes up short with a one-two combination before being taken down to the canvas for the third time in seven minutes of action. Rio looks to smother him, but Ogle has worked his way to the cage wall. Big strikes from Rio, who finds his opponent defending from half guard. Rio moves to the back, but Ogle looks to stand. But he has to avoid the choke simultaneously. Rio drags him down and has a body lock. This looks bad. Ogle turns out and is in guard. Huge reversal from the Brit, who seemed moment away from elimination. He works ground and pound now, while attempting to move to mount. He settles for side control, left with 90 seconds to work. Ogle now moves the the back mount and looks to get hooks in. He has them and attempts to flatten Rio out. Incredible turn of events. Shots to the head from Ogle. He is looking for the choke. He sink it in, and Rio hesitates but seesm to be ready to tap. He does. Ogle with a huge upset. He sprints out of the cage in excitement, while Faber yells at him to get back in the cage. He ends up returning, but not before hugging fellow "Ultimate Fighter" contest Ross Pearson, who also ended up winning it.
On a note not concerned with the contest, Pearson is noticeably standing off to the side, which likely is a result of the drunk driving arrest he recently was apart of. Doubt the UFC really wanted him to have any air time.
Official Decision: Ogle def. Rio via submission (rear naked choke), round 2
Anik with the post-fight interviews. Ogle says he truly respects Rio and that it would have been better to lose to him than anyone else he could think of. Gracious in defeat, Rio gives Ogle his due, impressed with the young man's ability to avoid the takedown and recover when he was on his back, or in worse positions.
Back from the break, Anik reminds the viewers to tune in for "UFC on FOX 3" tomorrow night. Spike has to love that, but it's not like they have much of a choice, I suppose.
On a nearby television, Dana White jumps in to introduce the fights for the next round. Here they are:
- Vick vs. Proctor
- Lawrence vs. Chiesa
Those fights take place next week on the same episode that will include the announcement for the latter pair of quarterfinal match ups. Anik wraps things up this week, as Ogle is shown standing silent, likely still a bit in shock after the upset. Props to the young man. He wanted that win as much as anyone ever could have.
Thanks for joining HeavyMMA.com for another episode of "The Ultimate Fighter: Live." Tune in next week, but not before tuning in tomorrow for live updates from the preliminary and main cards of "UFC on FOX 3." If you don't have FUEL TV for the prelims, we've got you covered, and if you can't catch the main card on FOX, we've got you're back.